Jessica Chastain's 'Eve' director quit over backlash

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Los Angeles:

Director Matthew Newton has left Jessica Chastain's "Eve" in light of an online backlash to his alleged history of assault.

Newton has written the script for "Eve", which Chastain will star and produce for Voltage Pictures.

"Yesterday I notified Jessica Chastain and the other producers on the film 'Eve' that I will be stepping down as director. Since the announcement of this film, the responses, which are powerful and important, have not fallen on deaf ears. I am profoundly aware that I have a responsibility to lead where I have failed in the past. I can never undo the harm that I've caused the people I've cared about and I carry that shame and responsibility with me every day.

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"Over the past eight years, I have been working extensively with healthcare professionals to help me overcome my addiction and mental health illness. For the past six years I have lived a quiet and sober life. All I can do now is try to be a living amends and hopefully contribute to the positive change occurring in our industry," Newton said in a statement. 

The Australian director's assault and domestic violence accusations date back to 2007 when he pleaded guilty to physically assaulting his then-girlfriend, actor Brooke Satchwell.

In 2010, Newton's then-fiancee Rachael Taylor accused him of "two unprovoked assaults" and was granted a two-year domestic violence order against him, an order he later breached.

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Chastain, a leading voice in the Time's Up movement, was called to action in a Care2 petition that asked for her to drop Newton from the film."

"Time's Up for rich and powerful men being absolved of horrific abuse against women," read the petition. 

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